Last night, it was finally the night LeVar Burton fans had been waiting so long for: Burton took the Jeopardy! stage as a Season 37 guest host, stepping into a role many passionate fans feel he was born to inhabit. Burton’s debut episode set a Jeopardy! record, but it wasn’t “highest ratings of all time” or “quickest promotion to permanent host,” as fans might have hoped—it was something much more ignoble. One contestant set a new record for lowest score ever, shocking and amusing viewers everywhere.
Patrick Pearce, a product specialist from Fountain View, California, breaks a record previously held by Stephanie Hull since March 2015. Pearce scored -$7,400, overtaking Hull’s -$6,800. It was a rough game for Pearce, who was up against three-day champion Matt Amodio, a PhD student from New Haven, Connecticut whose winnings totaled $101,400. Pearce climbed out of the hole for awhile, but a disastrous Daily Double wager sent him back into the red, while a question about United States government buildings overseas shot him into record-breaking territory.
Online fans had their fun with Pearce’s new record, but also expressed sympathy. One Reddit user wrote, “Patrick just manifested my worst nightmare. Finally get on the show, board isn’t to your strengths, get behind early, panic buzz, snowball, big RED. I feel for him.” Fans’ enthusiasm for Burton’s turn at the podium, combined with their astonishment at Pearce’s performance, made for a spicy night on Twitter. We’ve rounded up some of the best reactions below.
condolences to the new recordholder for worst day ever on Jeopardy, Patrick Pearce pic.twitter.com/JecMLYjQms
— Dan Kois (@dankois) July 27, 2021
Lowest Jeopardy score ever should be his new Bumble bio.
— Michael Sheehan (@BiggusDingus) July 27, 2021
— cody (@codylynnclark) July 26, 2021
— PHILASYR (@philasyr) July 26, 2021
I just saw #Jeopardy Patrick referred to as the "people's contestant' and it couldn't be truer. Over $7k in the hole at Final Jeopardy, he represents all of us yelling the wrong answers at the TV with complete confidence! ❤️ 🤓 @Jeopardy
— SC🌺 (@simonecastello) July 26, 2021
Friendly reminder that Patrick from tonight's #Jeopardy episode can probably beat 99% of Americans in trivia.
— Josh 🐯 Hill (@joshtigerhill) July 27, 2021
Just finished watching @Jeopardy with my kids & hope they’ll all dare to be like Patrick as they pursue their goals. Lowest score ever but he went down swinging. He achieved something most of us couldn’t just by getting on that stage. Chin up, dude! https://t.co/fRm9VSbrH8
— Adrian Hayes (@asnhayes) July 27, 2021
LeVar Burton is hosting Jeopardy and our man Patrick decided to honor the occasion by putting up the worst score of all time with -$7400 @Jeopardy
— Kevin K (@kevbotbot) July 26, 2021
Wait, hold up. Did I (and probably a whole lotta other folks) just tune in for the first time in a LONG time to watch the lowest recorded score in #Jeopardy history? If so, now I feel even worse for him😬
— DOUG (@ickybooley) July 26, 2021
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